Hot Best Seller

When You Call My Name

Availability: Ready to download

"This is a brilliant affirmation of the power of love on so many levels, with a wide range of appeal." —Booklist, Starred Review In the spirit of the author’s massively popular Twitter thread, Tucker Shaw’s When You Call My Name is a heartrending novel about two gay teens coming of age in New York City in 1990 at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Named "this summer's mos "This is a brilliant affirmation of the power of love on so many levels, with a wide range of appeal." —Booklist, Starred Review In the spirit of the author’s massively popular Twitter thread, Tucker Shaw’s When You Call My Name is a heartrending novel about two gay teens coming of age in New York City in 1990 at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Named "this summer's most powerful LGBTQ+ novel" by GAY TIMES, this book is perfect for fans of Adam Silvera and Mary H. K. Choi. Film fanatic Adam is seventeen and being asked out on his first date—and the guy is cute. Heart racing, Adam accepts, quickly falling in love with Callum like the movies always promised. Fashion-obsessed Ben is eighteen and has just left his home upstate after his mother discovers his hidden stash of gay magazines. When he comes to New York City, Ben’s sexuality begins to feel less like a secret and more like a badge of honor. Then Callum disappears, leaving Adam heartbroken, and Ben finds out his new world is more closed-minded than he thought. When Adam finally tracks Callum down, he learns the guy he loves is very ill. And in a chance meeting near the hospital where Callum is being treated, Ben and Adam meet, forever changing each other’s lives. As both begin to open their eyes to the possibilities of queer love and life, they realize sometimes the only people who can help you are the people who can really see you—in all your messy glory. A love letter to New York and the liberating power of queer friendship, When You Call My Name is a hopeful novel about the pivotal moments of our youth that break our hearts and the people who help us put them back together.


Compare

"This is a brilliant affirmation of the power of love on so many levels, with a wide range of appeal." —Booklist, Starred Review In the spirit of the author’s massively popular Twitter thread, Tucker Shaw’s When You Call My Name is a heartrending novel about two gay teens coming of age in New York City in 1990 at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Named "this summer's mos "This is a brilliant affirmation of the power of love on so many levels, with a wide range of appeal." —Booklist, Starred Review In the spirit of the author’s massively popular Twitter thread, Tucker Shaw’s When You Call My Name is a heartrending novel about two gay teens coming of age in New York City in 1990 at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Named "this summer's most powerful LGBTQ+ novel" by GAY TIMES, this book is perfect for fans of Adam Silvera and Mary H. K. Choi. Film fanatic Adam is seventeen and being asked out on his first date—and the guy is cute. Heart racing, Adam accepts, quickly falling in love with Callum like the movies always promised. Fashion-obsessed Ben is eighteen and has just left his home upstate after his mother discovers his hidden stash of gay magazines. When he comes to New York City, Ben’s sexuality begins to feel less like a secret and more like a badge of honor. Then Callum disappears, leaving Adam heartbroken, and Ben finds out his new world is more closed-minded than he thought. When Adam finally tracks Callum down, he learns the guy he loves is very ill. And in a chance meeting near the hospital where Callum is being treated, Ben and Adam meet, forever changing each other’s lives. As both begin to open their eyes to the possibilities of queer love and life, they realize sometimes the only people who can help you are the people who can really see you—in all your messy glory. A love letter to New York and the liberating power of queer friendship, When You Call My Name is a hopeful novel about the pivotal moments of our youth that break our hearts and the people who help us put them back together.

30 review for When You Call My Name

  1. 5 out of 5

    Marieke (mariekes_mesmerizing_books)

    For teens who want to know more about AIDS. For 40- and 50-somethings who remember those years. For lovers of It’s a Sin. Actually, for anyone who cherishes unforgettable books. When You Call My Name is not perfect, the pop references were a bit too much, and still, I want to rate this story a million stars. Pitched as a young adult novel, When You Call My Name is so much more. It’s a dedication to all those young people who lost their lives to AIDS. A dedication to the late eighties and early ni For teens who want to know more about AIDS. For 40- and 50-somethings who remember those years. For lovers of It’s a Sin. Actually, for anyone who cherishes unforgettable books. When You Call My Name is not perfect, the pop references were a bit too much, and still, I want to rate this story a million stars. Pitched as a young adult novel, When You Call My Name is so much more. It’s a dedication to all those young people who lost their lives to AIDS. A dedication to the late eighties and early nineties. A dedication to queer people. A dedication to New York. And this review is my dedication to Callum. Sweet Callum. Lovable Callum. Beautiful Callum. Endless Callum. I’m speechless; I don’t have many words to say. And at the same time, I want to shout out about When You Call My Name. Because the writing is so vivid and descriptive, I could feel the wind, see the parks, hear the traffic, smell the food. And because the story made me feel so much. I smiled and I cried and I got goosebumps and I watched in the distance. I hugged my cats and family. I thought of those boys I knew back then, Rick and Rick, and the red-head with his harem full of girls (if you ever read this, you know it’s you). I hope they’re still alive and doing well. And when I was done staring and hugging and musing, this story pulled the corners of my mouth up again and made my belly flutter and put lumps in my throat. And when I finished the story and thought I was done crying, tears leaped in my eyes again. I cried massive, beautiful tears. Because of the author’s note. Tucker, I can’t remember ever crying so much because of an author’s note in the back of a book. Thank you so much for sharing your story! Those three beautiful boys will always have a piece of my heart. I received an ARC from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Follow me on Instagram

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nikola 🌈

    get your silly little hands on this gorgeous book once it’s come out 🥲🏳️‍🌈 for a full experience play these songs in the background whilst you’re at it: Madonna - Vogue Deskee - Let That be House Pet Shop Boys - It’s a Sin Depeche Mode - Policy of Truth Lil Louis - French Kiss A-Ha - The Blue Sky 99 Neighbors - 49er Helen Reddy - I Am Woman Dusty Springfield - Son of A Preacher Man Miquel Brown - So Many Men, So Little Time Soul II Soul - Back To Life A-Ha - Take On Me ❤️💔❤️💔❤️

  3. 4 out of 5

    Casper

    Book Blog || Twitter || 25+ Book Discord This story is about so many things that it’s almost difficult to review - but in a good way. This book is about so much more than just the AIDs epidemic in 1990 in NYC. It’s about: • Finding yourself and your community • Learning how to accept yourself and situations that weren’t in your plans • Finding family when your own isn’t enough • Coming out and learning how to take up space • Coming to terms with grief, love, loss, and everything in between • Pop cultur Book Blog || Twitter || 25+ Book Discord This story is about so many things that it’s almost difficult to review - but in a good way. This book is about so much more than just the AIDs epidemic in 1990 in NYC. It’s about: • Finding yourself and your community • Learning how to accept yourself and situations that weren’t in your plans • Finding family when your own isn’t enough • Coming out and learning how to take up space • Coming to terms with grief, love, loss, and everything in between • Pop culture including fashion, art, film, and music of the 80s/90s Honestly, this book was a difficult read. I felt really sad and hollowed out to the point that I needed to step away from the book sometimes. It’s just that the characters are all so endearing and lovely. I was really rooting for them and I felt like I was going through their pain with them. The book follows two different teens and their experiences. Adam is a 17-year-old film addict who gets asked out by a customer, Callum, while on the clock at the video store where he works. The two experience a sweet and cute whirlwind romance and just as Adam realizes he’s experiencing the first real love of his life, he finds out that Callum has AIDs. Our other main character, Ben, is an 18-year-old fashion fiend who has just been kicked out of his mother’s house after she finds his stash of gay magazines. He comes to NYC to stay with his brother and finds a job as a fashion photographer’s assistant. While in the city, Ben begins to come into his own when he discovers the East Village where there are many queer people. The teens’ storylines intersect when Adam and Ben meet by happenchance and they begin blossoming in all new ways. Overall, this was a really heartfelt and emotional read filled with both sorrow and hope. It really captures the place and time that it’s going after. I did feel like some of the pop culture references were laid on a bit thick and it seemed unnatural at times. The pacing was also challenged in some parts of the story where things seemed to drag for a while before picking back up. Still a great read and highly recommended! My rating is a 4.5/5 stars. Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for providing an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Emma Ann

    I don’t even know what to say. *** “One day you’re going to wake up and the world won’t be as dark … One day the air will change, and the sun will feel good on your face again, and when it does, I want you to let it. It won’t be a betrayal. It won’t mean you’ve stopped caring. I promise” (p. 300). *** “They say that memories fade with time but I don’t believe that’s true. You carry them with you like stones in your pocket. Sometimes when it’s quiet you take them out and roll them between your finge I don’t even know what to say. *** “One day you’re going to wake up and the world won’t be as dark … One day the air will change, and the sun will feel good on your face again, and when it does, I want you to let it. It won’t be a betrayal. It won’t mean you’ve stopped caring. I promise” (p. 300). *** “They say that memories fade with time but I don’t believe that’s true. You carry them with you like stones in your pocket. Sometimes when it’s quiet you take them out and roll them between your fingers. Then you put them back in your pocket, safe again. You don’t leave them behind” (p. 353, author’s note). *** EDIT: Forgot to add, thank you to the publisher for providing a copy of the book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cyndi

    I finished this book yesterday but still feel like I'm wandering the streets of NYC with Ben, Adam and Callum. I'll probably be with them for awhile because I can't see myself forgetting about them anytime soon. It's hard for me to be objective about this book because it made me emotional, which is the easiest way to get 5 stars from me. But I believe this book earned them, even without my tears (of which there were many). A story centered around the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 80's and 90's will n I finished this book yesterday but still feel like I'm wandering the streets of NYC with Ben, Adam and Callum. I'll probably be with them for awhile because I can't see myself forgetting about them anytime soon. It's hard for me to be objective about this book because it made me emotional, which is the easiest way to get 5 stars from me. But I believe this book earned them, even without my tears (of which there were many). A story centered around the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 80's and 90's will never be a happy one. Even with feelings of hope and acknowledging progress, you can't bring back or ignore all of the lives that were lost. All of those people, all of those dreams, just gone. And you also can't ignore the absolutely embarrassing way that those people were treated by society while fighting for their lives and going through hell in the process. And then there were the mental health effects it had on the people who assumed that because they were gay, dying from AIDS was a foregone conclusion. That was their fate. Period. They could put it off for a few years, maybe, but eventually it would catch up to them. This book broke my heart and did not put it back together again. I was only 10 in 1990. If there was an internet, I definitely didn't have it. I didn't even have cable TV. I wasn't news savvy. I read the comics in the paper every morning, but never an actual article. The world outside of my suburban bubble hadn't reached me yet. So I learned about culture through music. I loved Madonna. I loved that Madonna made my mom mad. The Pet Shop Boys were a staple. The Cure changed my life. This book had a ton of pop culture references, and I latched on to each and every one of them like old friends because those songs and artists shaped me in ways my insulated surroundings never did. They eventually helped me find my people, my community, and I can't help but think that's why the author saturated this book with them. They were our windows to the world back then, a world that could feel very small without the technology we have now. I haven't mentioned much about the story itself, but I don't really feel the need to. The blurb says it all. The rest should really be experienced, just have your tissues ready. My only complaint was that I wanted more time with Callum. Adam hoarded his Saturdays with him and I would have liked to see more of their good times together before things took a turn for the worse. I hope writing this book was cathartic for the author. It was obviously personal to him and the regard in which he held the story was evident in how it was written, the moments he chose and the way he muffled his own voice at times in an effort to respect the privacy of the characters. I'm so very glad I read it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    hc smith

    choked back a lot of ugly sobs with this one. and i really almost DNF'd it after 20 pages. i thought it was going to be a cringey YA book but it was absolutely not even close to that. not only is it a perfect read for Pride month, its an incredible lense into the AIDS crisis of the 80s/90s from the perspective of two queer teens navigating their respective situations, and how their stories intertwine. it was devastating, gorgeous, hopeful and an even fun look in all things that is 80s/90s pop an choked back a lot of ugly sobs with this one. and i really almost DNF'd it after 20 pages. i thought it was going to be a cringey YA book but it was absolutely not even close to that. not only is it a perfect read for Pride month, its an incredible lense into the AIDS crisis of the 80s/90s from the perspective of two queer teens navigating their respective situations, and how their stories intertwine. it was devastating, gorgeous, hopeful and an even fun look in all things that is 80s/90s pop and queer culture

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gregory

    Cute. And necessary.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jason Conrad

    I was stunned by this book and didn't want to put it down. I loved everything about it, and I can be hard to please, lol. I absolutely adored both of these characters. The amount of work that was put into developing them and their storylines is incredible. I loved that it was set in the 90's against the backdrop of NYC and the AIDS epidemic. I've been reading a lot of books with this same setting, and think it is so important for those who did not have to experience the AIDS epidemic (myself inc I was stunned by this book and didn't want to put it down. I loved everything about it, and I can be hard to please, lol. I absolutely adored both of these characters. The amount of work that was put into developing them and their storylines is incredible. I loved that it was set in the 90's against the backdrop of NYC and the AIDS epidemic. I've been reading a lot of books with this same setting, and think it is so important for those who did not have to experience the AIDS epidemic (myself included) to have an understanding of it -- of those who suffered while the government stood by. The trauma that these young boys went through -- at ages 17 / 18 -- was a lot for my heart to handle. The grace with which Ben and Adam handled and processed these traumas was executed flawlessly by Tucker Shaw. This book was a true testament to the resiliency of queer people -- especially queer adolescents, who too often have to grow up far too quickly. Death, grief, hatred, bigotry, and homophobia were central themes that were contrasted by love, family, friendship, passion, and human connection -- a great balance that left me both happy and devastated at numerous points throughout. I cried on multiple occasions (there is one in specific that involves a backpack), which is always a sign that I have become super invested in what happens to characters. And Tucker Shaw made me care about them. When You Call My Name was a knock-out. I cannot recommend it enough. I am so so so excited to read his future books!

  9. 5 out of 5

    olivia

    got me out of a horrendous reading slump.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Frank Chillura (OhYouRead)

    I’ve just finished crying… crying for the people treated like lepers for a disease they couldn’t control… crying for the queer kids still treated unfairly and unjustly by those around them for nothing more than being different… crying for all of the lives lost during the AIDS epidemic of the 80’s and 90’s. The ones who had no one to hold their hand as they passed. Just writing this review is making the tears come back. I knew about and lived through some of the darkest years of queer history. Wh I’ve just finished crying… crying for the people treated like lepers for a disease they couldn’t control… crying for the queer kids still treated unfairly and unjustly by those around them for nothing more than being different… crying for all of the lives lost during the AIDS epidemic of the 80’s and 90’s. The ones who had no one to hold their hand as they passed. Just writing this review is making the tears come back. I knew about and lived through some of the darkest years of queer history. When I was a kid, it affected me differently than it does now. I heard the whispers from my loved ones. I knew what they thought of gay men. Maybe that’s what made it harder for me to come out. If not for my mother reading my journal, I don’t think I would have had the courage. When You Call My Name moved me like no other book has in a very long time. It felt like an out of body experience, looking down at what could have been had I been just a little older. Celebrating the lives of my friends who had passed and hoping I wasn’t the next to get disheartening news. Adam and Ben’s stories ran parallel like two sides of the same coin. One being a poor kid whose mother kicked him out for his sexuality, forced to move in with his brother, the doctor. And the other being a rich kid who’s met the boy of his dreams, only to find him in a hospital for those living terminally with HIV and AIDS. They meet in passing, but their stories intersect throughout. I honestly can’t say anything bad about this book. I’m still left heartbroken and reeling over the loss of a character I loved. I know that this story is very reflective of what so many gay men went through and while I don’t want to ever imagine this being my story, I know it could have so easily been one I knew much better.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Danski

    This absolutely wrecked me. I’m so grateful Tucker Shaw has written this incredible story. It’s beautiful and it’s heartbreaking and it’s just really, really important.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Teddie Quigley

    This is was one of the best things i have ever read, and it broke me oml

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alicia Ingram

    Only marking it down at 4 as I felt the pop culture references were quite heavy which left me feeling a bit left out when I didn't get them. But this story is so heartfelt and tender ❤ Only marking it down at 4 as I felt the pop culture references were quite heavy which left me feeling a bit left out when I didn't get them. But this story is so heartfelt and tender ❤

  14. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    It is really important that books of this nature are available. The author did a good job of expressing what living during the HIV/AIDS epidemic may have been like for a large segment of the gay population. I just wish I felt more attached to the characters in this particular story.

  15. 5 out of 5

    David

    READ THIS BOOK!!!! MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!!! Coming out and being gay isn’t easy, but in the 1990’s its was a different world. In When You Call My Name, Tucker Shaw explores coming out, living with AIDS, loving someone with AIDS, and losing someone with AIDS. Adam meets Callum, an aspiring conductor, at his video rental job. He fell fast and hard, then Callum disappears. It’s then that Adam discovers that Callum has AIDS and he must make choices that will change his world. Ben’s men’s magazine colle READ THIS BOOK!!!! MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!!! Coming out and being gay isn’t easy, but in the 1990’s its was a different world. In When You Call My Name, Tucker Shaw explores coming out, living with AIDS, loving someone with AIDS, and losing someone with AIDS. Adam meets Callum, an aspiring conductor, at his video rental job. He fell fast and hard, then Callum disappears. It’s then that Adam discovers that Callum has AIDS and he must make choices that will change his world. Ben’s men’s magazine collection is discovered by his mother and she promptly kicks him out. He moves in with his doctor brother, Gil, and begins working with Gil’s girlfriend Rebecca. When Adam and Ben’s world collide it is hardly love at first sight. A story of found family, grief, coming out, and love in all its forms, When You Call My Name is and amazing book that needs to be read, to see how far we’ve come and how far we have to go.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Teddy

    This destroyed my heart and then stitched it back together. Shaw imbues his writing with such care, tenderness, emotion, & humanity. I felt transported, in a way unlike many books I've read in the past few years. I adored every moment of this book, both the heartache & the joy. Highly, highly recommend; I'll be preordering a copy & suggesting my library do so too. This destroyed my heart and then stitched it back together. Shaw imbues his writing with such care, tenderness, emotion, & humanity. I felt transported, in a way unlike many books I've read in the past few years. I adored every moment of this book, both the heartache & the joy. Highly, highly recommend; I'll be preordering a copy & suggesting my library do so too.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Pierre Jennaoui (pierrereads)

    3.5* Okay, so I had the paperback of When You Call My Name preordered for a while because the cover instantly got my eye and the synopsis made it sound like a book I will definitely love. New York setting, deals with AIDS, dual POV, early 90s. It just sounded like this book had it all, and maybe It's my fault for not managing my expectations because it really failed to impress me and satisfy the need I had for such a book. Is it a bad book? Absolutely not, but it wasn't MY book and I'm okay with it 3.5* Okay, so I had the paperback of When You Call My Name preordered for a while because the cover instantly got my eye and the synopsis made it sound like a book I will definitely love. New York setting, deals with AIDS, dual POV, early 90s. It just sounded like this book had it all, and maybe It's my fault for not managing my expectations because it really failed to impress me and satisfy the need I had for such a book. Is it a bad book? Absolutely not, but it wasn't MY book and I'm okay with it. Do I recommend it? I believe I can recommend it, but my advice would be to manage your expectations. The things I really enjoyed about When You Call My Name: . THIS COVER!!! . The New York setting was absolutely incredible. It was warm, cozy yet energetic, made me feel nostalgia for early 90s New York even though I wasn't even born back then so that's how you know an author is a damn good one at setting the scenery. . The writing style was incredibly beautiful and engaging. Usually, I'm a hater when it comes to 3rd person POVs, but merged with this author's writing style, it was actually superb. . I really enjoyed the main characters, and the fact that this book is a dual POV. Both Adam and Ben felt utterly unique and very different from one another, and by that I mean that it didn't feel like I was reading about the same character. Adam was likeable, if gullible, but I enjoyed his overall emotional arc throughout this book. Meanwhile Ben was a more edgy, straightforward character who just wanted to pursue his dreams. . The plot in the book was questionable at best, but I enjoyed the clear seperation between Adam and Ben's stories. Ben was working towards achieving his dream of becoming a stylist or someone who works in fashion, meanwhile Adam's story was all about first love and grief, which made them very distinguishable. . I liked the supporting characters in this book! Adam's parents were lovely, if a tad one dimensional, meanwhile his gay godfather were the one who stole the spotlight whenever they were on screen. I liked Lilly enough, especially after she admitted to her faults and was there for Adam when he needed her. On Ben's side, I absolutely loved Rebecca! And as for Gil... I'm just gonna say that I liked how supportive and loving he became towards Ben in the second half of the book. . The representation of AIDS and how it affects the infected and their close family and friends was very well done, to say the least, especially in Callum and Adam's part of the book. Moving on to the things I didn't particularly love about When You Call My Name: . The nonexistent plot. Yes, this is a character motivated book, but I still would've liked there to be more plot of some sort. . I didn't get about 95% of the late 80s/early 90s references, and there were A LOT of them. Yes, that's on me for being a late 90s baby, but still! There are only so many times one can resort to Google before getting bored and just ignoring the plethora of references. . Adam and Callum's romance felt shockingly underdeveloped, especially since It's Adam's one and only plotline in this book. I just wasn't convinced that they were actually in love, like I was given no reason to so no, it never worked for me. . The fact that Ben and Adam's POVs only crossover a few times throughout the book and always ending in disaster. I just wanted to see more of them interacting, especially since Ben's POV really sold me on how he felt towards Adam. . Both characters are 18, yet they never really LIVED IT UP, NYC style, in the gay part of the city, which I just expected more from. . The lack of romance on Ben's side, which is contradictory to my earlier statement where I said I liked that his story was a more follow your dreams and work for them thing, but it still would've been nice for him to get a little something something. . The open ending... I hated it, I don't know what else to say about that. I don't like open endings, especially in standalones. We left off with a lot of loose threads (Jack's HIV diagnosis, Adam's HIV test results, Adam and Ben's growing relationship) and I really wasn't a fan of that. I NEED ANSWERS, DAMN IT! Overall, this was an enjoyable experience that left me underwhelmed and unsatisfied, specifically because of the open ending. I do however feel comfortable in recommending it, because it still felt like an important book for the LGBTQ+ community.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own. There is something so bittersweet about a love that you can never hang on to. When Adam falls for Callum he really believes they have a long time left together. When things change, Adam is left brokenhearted and must figure out where his life will go from here. Ben moves out of his mother's house after she finds his stash of queer Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own. There is something so bittersweet about a love that you can never hang on to. When Adam falls for Callum he really believes they have a long time left together. When things change, Adam is left brokenhearted and must figure out where his life will go from here. Ben moves out of his mother's house after she finds his stash of queer magazines. He has to figure out what his life looks like now as an openly gay teen. When Adam and Ben meet they might just find out what life and friendship really mean and what being fully seen really feels like. At its core, this story was really sweet. There were a lot of relationships in here that are very well done. Ben and Gil's friendship was my favorite. The love these two have for each other is so apparent and easily gushes out of the pages. Victor and Jack are two side characters that I fell completely in love with. I would love a book that focuses on their remaining time together. What I didn't enjoy about this book is the pacing. I felt like the story dragged in numerous places which took me out of the story a little bit. When I hit these lulls in the story I had to take a step away and catch a breather. Had they have not been there I feel like I would have binged the entire book. While this isn't a book I would reach for again I do think it's still a worthwhile read. It provides a glimpse into the past of what young gay individuals experienced during the HIV/AIDS epidemic. We see them losing their friends and loved ones, dealing with their own fears contracting the deadly virus, and learning how to love and hope in such a dangerous time.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kai

    Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of "When You Call my Name" in exchange for an honest review. "When You Call my Name" is a YA book about two eighteen year old boys experiencing what it means to be a gay man in New York during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in 1990. The story alternates between Adam and Ben’s perspectives and shares the differences in their experiences until, slowly, their stories begin to intertwine. Adam’s perspective deals more with falling in love, familial support, fo Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of "When You Call my Name" in exchange for an honest review. "When You Call my Name" is a YA book about two eighteen year old boys experiencing what it means to be a gay man in New York during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in 1990. The story alternates between Adam and Ben’s perspectives and shares the differences in their experiences until, slowly, their stories begin to intertwine. Adam’s perspective deals more with falling in love, familial support, found family in the LGBT community, and the direct effects of loving and losing someone who has HIV/AIDS. The emotional intensity in Adam’s point of view is heartbreaking and beautifully written. Ben’s perspective deals more with the harassment, disapproval, and abuse he receives as a gay man and standing strong through all the bullsh*t that people throw at him. "Ben's sexuality begins to feel less like a secret and more like a badge of honor" is spot on, and I loved reading Ben's perspective so much because of it. Adam’s love of film and Ben’s love of fashion styling are woven throughout their stories and ultimately lead them to the people that will change their lives forever. Including each other. “When You Call my Name” flowed so well and the alternating perspectives balanced each other throughout every important moment. I loved this book so much. It never felt too slow or too rushed, each narrator had a distinct personality and their voices were easily distinguishable, the story itself had the perfect balance of feel-good moments and heartache. I loved the glimpses of each other that Ben and Adam got until their lives fully collided and they really became friends. Painful, beautiful, heartfelt. I cried probably half a dozen times reading “When You Call my Name”, and any book with the power to make me cry deserves all the praise in the world. I don’t have enough good things to say about this book, but I highly recommend it. I don’t know if Shaw has any intention of writing a sequel about Adam and Ben’s friendship, but I’d read it in a heartbeat.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Chad Cunningham

    I received a copy of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for a review.... So. This book. This book is about two boys; Adam and Ben. They are 18. They are gay. They are in New York City in 1990. Ben has left home and come to the city to live with his brother. Adam has met a man named Callum and is going on a date with him. Over the next several months- and several hundred pages- their stories will unfold, cross, re-cross, and weave together. I love this book. I cried several times while reading I received a copy of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for a review.... So. This book. This book is about two boys; Adam and Ben. They are 18. They are gay. They are in New York City in 1990. Ben has left home and come to the city to live with his brother. Adam has met a man named Callum and is going on a date with him. Over the next several months- and several hundred pages- their stories will unfold, cross, re-cross, and weave together. I love this book. I cried several times while reading it. I sighed in nostalgia for the cusp of the 80s and 90s while reading it. And I felt the white-hot rage that has never quite gone away; the rage at AIDS and how our society chose to react to it. Adam and Ben and the people around them are painted in a realistic light and are dealing with real issues from the time. AIDS is part of the story- a huge part of the story- but the author builds a very real and very compelling world. Every character has moments of insight or revelation. And there's a framing sequence that pays off beautifully at the end. Like I said, I love this book. I highly recommend it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    6 🌟 Oh the feels for this!!!! It hit me allll through them!!!! I love all the references to music, actor, movies, etc… it brought it to the front (I was 4/5 during this) - but all the stuff I knew 🥳 Them there’s the 2 stories, one that has been out a bit with support and loving parents/friends and one that came out and the mom flipped out and made him leave and move to New York where being gay is not such a problem…… EXCEPT for the whole AIDS/HIV thing…. But, the author did sooo good (I think atLe 6 🌟 Oh the feels for this!!!! It hit me allll through them!!!! I love all the references to music, actor, movies, etc… it brought it to the front (I was 4/5 during this) - but all the stuff I knew 🥳 Them there’s the 2 stories, one that has been out a bit with support and loving parents/friends and one that came out and the mom flipped out and made him leave and move to New York where being gay is not such a problem…… EXCEPT for the whole AIDS/HIV thing…. But, the author did sooo good (I think atLeast, I am not part of that scene so know it’s from my perspective) at handling the highs and the lows and the in between…. I loved when the stories started overlapping - Ben is chef 💋 adorabe and Adam is a shoulder you want to have ALL the time!!!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jarek Schmidt

    such an amazing book, telling a story from two different guys who eventually find each other when they needed it most this type of book is my favorite book, the pop culture references to real emotion id say this is a must read for everyone to get a very very small glimpse into how HIV truly effected so many people and really how bad it was during 80/90s, this book should be mainstream and popular like so many others i hope it gains traction

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chris Pinto

    This was the perfect pride month read. It is by no means a feel good story, but it is an extremely important one. It provides a window into the world that our queer brothers and sisters had to live through, and allows todays LGBT youth to experience a tiny slice of what it meant to be gay in the 80s/90s. And it still manages to make you smile.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This is a book that I didn't know I needed to read until I started to read it. This is a great read if you are looking to broaden your understanding of what it was like to go through the aids pandemic. And understand the confusion and heart ache that went along with it. Set in 1990, you follow the story of two young boys who transition into adulthood during this confusing time. You go on their journey with them as they become young men and figure out how to navigate the world around them. This is a book that I didn't know I needed to read until I started to read it. This is a great read if you are looking to broaden your understanding of what it was like to go through the aids pandemic. And understand the confusion and heart ache that went along with it. Set in 1990, you follow the story of two young boys who transition into adulthood during this confusing time. You go on their journey with them as they become young men and figure out how to navigate the world around them.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    A beautiful and poignant novel. You’ll love these characters and be moved by their story set in NYC in 1990 during the height of the AIDS crisis. This book is about growing up, becoming yourself and the power of love. Truly memorable.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Really enjoyed this story! Found it endearing and tragic and hopeful. Sometimes veers into after-school special territory, and gets a bit too caught up in period-relevant details. But overall a great book! 4/5

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gina Malanga

    The year is 1990, the place is NYC, and Madonna is on every station and supermodels are on every magazine cover. All of this sounds great but it is also the height of the AIDS epidemic, people were dying at an alarming rate, many of them gay men of all ages. Ben and Adam are both beginning their journey as part of the Gay community in different ways for both of them there is love, fear, excitement and sadness in discovering who they are and how the world views them. When Adam meets Callum his wh The year is 1990, the place is NYC, and Madonna is on every station and supermodels are on every magazine cover. All of this sounds great but it is also the height of the AIDS epidemic, people were dying at an alarming rate, many of them gay men of all ages. Ben and Adam are both beginning their journey as part of the Gay community in different ways for both of them there is love, fear, excitement and sadness in discovering who they are and how the world views them. When Adam meets Callum his whole world changes and his heart loves for the first time, but his connection with Ben continues to grow and develop built out of chance meetings and shared confidences. This book is a love letter to NYC in the 90’s (the cultural history is astounding) and to all then men young and old who lost their lives to this horrible sickness. As the author reminds the reader at the end of the book AIDS is still a prevalent issue today as so many people do not have access to the healthcare and support they need. This book gutted me, it broke my heart more than once, and it was absolutely beautiful.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Nguyen

    I was able to read this ebook through #NetGalley! 4 1/2 stars for Shaw's latest, a narrative with two viewpoints set amid the height of the AIDS epidemic. This book is heartbreaking, meaningful, and relatable. I absolutely loved both Ben and Adam, and I liked that this wasn't typical meet-cute-instalove. Instead, it showed the sad and confusing aspects of love and identity. Adam's relationship was probably my favorite; you just couldn't help but love them. Ben and Gil was also refreshing. The only I was able to read this ebook through #NetGalley! 4 1/2 stars for Shaw's latest, a narrative with two viewpoints set amid the height of the AIDS epidemic. This book is heartbreaking, meaningful, and relatable. I absolutely loved both Ben and Adam, and I liked that this wasn't typical meet-cute-instalove. Instead, it showed the sad and confusing aspects of love and identity. Adam's relationship was probably my favorite; you just couldn't help but love them. Ben and Gil was also refreshing. The only downside was that the end dragged a little bit. I love the confusion that Adam feels after, but I just kept on thinking, "I would love if this were over because this would be a beautiful ending.. now."

  29. 5 out of 5

    Brady

    I got this book from NetGalley and MacMillian Childrens Publishing Group, these opinions are my own. This book took me on a roller coaster of emotions! I grew up in the nineties but I was young enough that what was going on with AIDS didn’t feel like it impacted me much, it’s a part of LGBTQ+ history that I still feel like I know too little about. I enjoyed reading about Adam and Ben and what it would have been like to be a teenager and gay in the nineties! I enjoyed the pop culture references, I got this book from NetGalley and MacMillian Childrens Publishing Group, these opinions are my own. This book took me on a roller coaster of emotions! I grew up in the nineties but I was young enough that what was going on with AIDS didn’t feel like it impacted me much, it’s a part of LGBTQ+ history that I still feel like I know too little about. I enjoyed reading about Adam and Ben and what it would have been like to be a teenager and gay in the nineties! I enjoyed the pop culture references, bit of nostalgia for me! This book was lovely and heartbreaking, especially Adam’s journey with Callum. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lucsbooks

    General Impressions I wanted to read "When You Call My Name" because 1. it's a queer book by a queer author, 2. it's being published during Pride month and 3. I thought the title was a reference to Alexander the Great and his boyfriend and I'm trash for classical queers. That cover being absolutely **fire** barely needs to be mentioned as that's a given, for me. I started this book knowing that the chances of it making me cry were very high. I have consumed a few recent movies and books that talk General Impressions I wanted to read "When You Call My Name" because 1. it's a queer book by a queer author, 2. it's being published during Pride month and 3. I thought the title was a reference to Alexander the Great and his boyfriend and I'm trash for classical queers. That cover being absolutely **fire** barely needs to be mentioned as that's a given, for me. I started this book knowing that the chances of it making me cry were very high. I have consumed a few recent movies and books that talk about the AIDS epidemic in the queer community and how discrimination and intentional disregard on the part of the government and society at large was to blame for the loss of so many, but none set in the 90s and I think that was what shocked me the most. We are used to hearing about how bad it was in the 80s but then the tragedy ends there. Medicine and scientific breakthroughs eventually start to happen when enough straight white people get sick and LGBTQ groups to organize in such a way that they become impossible to ignore. That's what I thought happened: it was awful in the 80s but then things got better because gay, lesbian, and Trans refused to keep quiet and eventually won (never forget, the white cute gay boy might be the face and oiled chest of the movement in most people's eyes but we're all standing on trans, particularly BIPOC, mighty shoulders). This book paints a vastly different picture: a new decade yes, but people were still dying every day, were still going undiagnosed, were still being refused treatment in hospitals or even denied respect and safety for simply being suspected of being queer, looking or acting a certain way. Being queer was losing dozens of friends, lovers, and acquaintances every month. One day there, a few weeks later someone told you they were gone. This book forces us to put ourselves in the shoes of two young gay men, Adam and Ben. knowing that being who they were, and daring to love someone was a death sentence in the making. There was no cure or even the promise of any kind of drug that would help or even extend your life. That leaves these two teenagers not only having to deal with the normal pressures of being young with all kinds of important decisions ahead of them plus being discriminated against, taught to hide and hate themselves, and demonized by the adults around them. Instead of making plans for the future and falling in and out of love, they become intimate with grief and forced to grow up in a world that would rather see them dead and gone. We look around now, with all the 90s trends coming back, a time not so long ago at all and it doesn't seem that difficult to imagine being there: we might have never played a cassette but we still listen to a lot of the same artists, recognize the neighbourhoods, watch the same movies, these two boys feel like our friends, we know them, we were them and then out of nowhere, the reader is slapped in the face with how vastly different their world is. You recognize the shirts and the music and little else. Reading this book felt like living in the most wonderful polaroid that turned into a nightmare with a casual sentence. Again and again and again. Madonna? Gay-bashing. RuPaul? A table filled with mementoes of dead people. Kate Moss? God-sent plague. The writing was beautiful, the setting felt real, and the craft immaculate. And yet, this was such a work of art not only because the characters were impactful and fleshed out, and the story able to draw you in but because this book was written by Tucker Shaw. This man didn't read about this time, he didn't research it as a personal hobby or choose it as the setting for his novel to set himself apart from the crowd. He lived through it, he survived it, while his loved ones didn't. This book is penned in blood and memory and you feel it in every word. After crying my way through the last few pages, I never cried harder than when I read the author's final notes where I learnt the reason for the book title was not in remembrance of Alexander's love but his own. And yet, after all the pain, tragedy and rawness across its 300 pages, if you decide to learn more about what the queer community went through out of curiosity, the titanic war they fought, you realize that this man went easy. What he relates here is nothing but a very short time, in the life of characters that if marginalized due to their sexual orientation, still have their whiteness, their economical security, adults that love, nurture and protect them and that privilege matters and shields them and the reader. Perhaps it's less about their youth than the book's target audience's, but what they went through was nothing compared to the hand others less fortunate were dealt. There is a reason I made sure to put "recent" in bold at the beginning of this review and it's because, what happened, what was allowed to happen to the queer community was an attempted genocide, both cultural and physical and what people went through fighting it is only now starting to be discussed and taught about, this book being part of that effort. I don't want you to think that this story was nothing more than a sequence of tragic events: yes there was plenty of sadness, confusion and injustice, but if being queer means anything, is being part of a loving, accepting community, a family that you choose and chooses you back and there's joy in that. There was so much laughter when queer characters met and insisted on joking around, reading each other, honouring the memory of those that were gone and taking care of the ones still around. There were pride marches, gay clubs, allies, and a culture that was enmeshed in the fabric of the world, even if only visible to those looking for it. Conclusions I finished this book more aware of and thankful for those that survived, those that refused to be erased and lie down to die out of the way, and those that fought for everything that, as a queer person I get to enjoy now. That sentiment is matched only by an immense sense of sadness for a generation of queer people taken from us, a piece of our history that was not allowed to happen. Think about what could have been, all the love that did not get to fluoresce, all the art, stories, and people cut too short for nothing but prejudice. That is why we march this June. These characters, like so many people then, could picture a hotel on the moon more easily than gay marriage. Look around. We got that, we got legislation, gay presidents and prime ministers just like we used to have queer emperors and kings. We've always been here. We're still here. Thank you. We wouldn't have it without you. Thank you to Penguin for sending me this copy. Rating: 5/5 I started crying again writing this damn review, goddammit!

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...